Posted October 21st, 2013, 08:07 PM
I'm having a harborside in FLL onboard the Royal in Feb. 2014. Although the ship is different, here are some questions:
I upgraded my bridal bouquet as well as my maid of honor's bouquet. All flowers were wonderfully fresh and photographed well. I had requested 12 lavender colored roses and was prepared to see a shade of pink...but they got it right! I remember sending a few photos over to the wedding coordinator to communicate what I wanted and could not have been happier.
We went with the music CD for the ceremony and there was no music playing while the guests waited. This is one of my regrets - for our vow renewal I definitely want live music of some sort (I have asked for violinists, but will be flexible). The quality of the CD was o.k., it's just not the same ambiance as if you have someone playing live. We picked the ceremony music from the Princess selections on the wedding arrangements form (Bridal Chorus and the Wedding March).
We opted for a luncheon reception following our ceremony. The time went very fast (ceremony was at around noon and guests had to disembark I think at around 3:30 pm), so no time for a DJ.
Our ceremony took place in the Emerald Princess chapel and I remember waiting nervously around the corner from the Lotus Spa for the call to walk down the aisle! I got a lot of curious looks from the newly embarked passengers coming onboard to make Spa appointments
. The chapel was just the right size for our group (less than 40). It is quite small and the walk down the aisle felt short. It was nice to get natural light through the windows - the wedding chapel on the Royal Princess is in a windowless location next to the Concierge Lounge (I checked it out in July to evaluate as a vow renewal location - otherwise it is more spacious than the chapel on the Emerald).
For food we purchased one of the luncheon packages (3-course meal) and I negotiated to upgrade to a 4-course lunch so I could include my favorite Apple and Peach chilled soup. As for the cake, I made a special request to have sugar roses on the 3-tier cake match my lavender bouquet - and it did! The food was wonderful as was the set-up (they had our wedding favors beautifully displayed when the guests walked in). What I was not happy about (not that it mattered that much) is that they only had one dining room open at the time (embarkation day) and allocated just a section of it to our wedding party. They then seated tons of other passengers right next to us who were of course talking loudly. It was hard for us to hear the toasts our guests made. Princess should have placed us on the other side of the dining room instead of right next to other passengers - I was also not told about this prior to the wedding. I would have gladly paid extra for a bit more privacy (and perhaps a microphone!).
We paid for champagne and wine service at the luncheon and there was plenty of it - no issues with the service there.
They delivered the rest of our wedding cake to our room and we continued to enjoy it for the duration of the cruise.
Our photographer did a good job. I wish we could have had maybe an extra 30 minutes of photography and I also wish she had taken photos during the luncheon (she only took them during toasts and cake-cutting vs. some candid shots as well). We purchased all the photos on a CD so we could have the rights to them forever - there were more than 300 files on the CD and it cost $495 at the time. It was wonderful to be able to edit them ourselves afterwards. We also had them make a little slide show with music of the best shots (additional fee).
If I could relive that day I'd invest in live ceremony music and insist on a better luncheon set-up away from the noise. I would have also tried to add 30-60 minutes to photography, starting from me getting ready in the room. It also was not ideal for the bride not to meet the officiant until in the chapel, but we knew this was going to be one of the trade-offs in a cruise wedding.
Royal Princess December 2015 New Year's Caribbean Cruise
Allure of the Seas May 2014 Eastern Caribbean Vow Renewal Cruise
Royal Princess July 29 Grand Mediterranean
Emerald Princess February 2011 Babymoon Cruise to the Southern Caribbean
Emerald Princess August 2010 Wedding & Honeymoon Cruise to the Western Caribbean
Emerald Princess January 2010 Eastern Caribbean
Caribbean Princess June 2009 Eastern Caribbean from NYC
Ruby Princess December 2008 Christmas Cruise to the Western Caribbean